How to Meal Prep Like A Pro

Jan 5, 2023

How to meal prep like a pro

Whether you’re trying to eat a little healthier or save money by eating out less, you’ve probably thought about meal prepping. Meal prep not only saves you time before and after work, but it also helps you get a nutritious option on the table—no matter how busy your week.

The hardest part is knowing where to start. Before any chopping, cooking and packing can take place, you need to know what you’re making. We’ve created this prep-like-a-pro guide to teach you how to make a meal plan, what to cook, the best way to prep and how to store and reheat your meals.


Hungry for more? Check out our cooking classes for tips and tricks from our resident chefs as well as recipe inspiration to try this week!

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How to meal prep


1. Pick One: Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Keep it simple and start with one meal—whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Maybe it’s the meal you typically eat out or one you need to prepare for the whole family. Focus on the meal that will save you the most time, money or stress during the week. Plan to just prep two or three days of the meal as you’re starting out.

2. Find Easy-to-Prep Recipes

We recommend bookmarking our recipe library, which has thousands of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas to choose from. If that feels too overwhelming, then go for a cookbook, which will have a more curated selection of recipes. Many cookbooks also include tips and techniques that can make meal prepping easier.

When looking for recipes to prep, here are some ingredients you’ll want to keep an eye out for: grains (like quinoa, brown rice and pasta), roasted vegetables (like sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts), sturdy greens (like kale), protein (beans, eggs or animal protein) and healthy fats (like dressing or nuts). These ingredients hold up well when stored for several days and are part of a balanced diet.


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and luckily, it’s an easy one to prep. Some of our go-to make-ahead breakfasts are smoothies, overnight oats and egg sandwiches.


Lunch is a great meal to prep if you find yourself skipping it sometimes because your day gets too busy. We like rotating between hearty soups, seasonal salads and grain bowls.


This can be the most daunting of the bunch, since you may be cooking for more than one person. We recommend one-pan meals, stir-fries and veggie-packed pastas as easy options.

3. Make a Grocery List

Once you’ve selected your recipes, the next essential step is a grocery list. While making your list, be sure to check your cabinets and fridge to see what ingredients you already have. If you like to shop in person, we find it helpful to organize your grocery list by ingredient location in the store.

How to meal prep


1. Mark Your Calendar

Incorporating “meal prep Sundays” into your routine is easier than you think. It’s a nice way to set yourself up for success before the work week begins. And it can be whatever day your “Sunday” is. Just make sure to block off a couple of hours on your calendar so you can stay consistent.

2. Start Small

You don’t have to prep for the whole week—experiment with prepping one meal (like lunch or dinner) for two or three days to start.

3. Prep Smart

To save time and avoid eating the same thing every day, choose recipes that require different cooking methods. That way, if you’re using different appliances for each dish, you can prepare multiple meals at once. A good place to start is by making one oven meal, one stovetop meal, and one counter meal. For instance: a sheet pan dinner, a soup and a salad.

How to meal prep


1. Glass Storage Set

We might be biased, but the Sur La Table 20-Piece Glass Storage Container Set has everything you need to get started. These multi-sized, durable, odor-resistant, stain-resistant containers are heat safe up to 500°F, making them ideal for meal prepping lunches and dinners.

2. Silicone Containers

Reusable, washable silicone bags from Stasher are a great alterative to disposable plastic baggies. Their airtight seal locks in flavors and freshness. Souper Cubes are also an easy way to freeze homemade soups, stocks, sauces, smoothies and more. They’re made from flexible silicone for easy removal of frozen cubes and are dishwasher safe.

3. Vacuum Sealer

If you haven’t discovered the Zwilling Fresh & Save Vacuum Sealer Set yet, it’s going to be a game changer. This system keeps food fresh up to five times longer, thanks to a cordless vacuum pump that extracts air from reusable plastic bags and glass containers that come in the set. Our meal prep hero!

How to meal prep


1. Cool Properly
After cooking your meals, you’ll want to bring the food down to room temp before popping it in the fridge. But be aware that food should only be out for two hours before it needs to be refrigerated. Any longer, and it can enter the “danger zone” where bacteria can multiply to dangerous numbers.

2. Thaw Fully

To properly thaw frozen meals, you’ll want to place the containers into the fridge and wait 24 hours before heating. You can speed up the process by submerging your frozen container under running water at a temperature of 70˚F (21˚C) or lower.

3. Reheat Once
The more you refrigerate and reheat your meals, the higher the risk of food poisoning. Defrosted foods should only be reheated once.

4. Use Labels 
If you’re savvy with a label maker, we recommend you label and date your containers so they’re eaten in the food safe period. Refrigerated meals should be consumed within three to four days, and frozen meals within three to six months.


Hungry for more? Check out our cooking classes for tips and tricks from our resident chefs as well as recipe inspiration to try this week!

Explore Cooking Classes

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